Twitter is known for not being the most friendly place to hang out online. From bullying to harassment, the blue bird has been accused of allowing disruptive behaviours that do not technically violate its policies.
Despite these accusations, Twitter is now experimenting with new ways to enhance engagement, by encouraging positive conversations and helping people who are friendly to find each other.
One of the features that is being tested includes conversation starters like: ‘Who is the most inspirational person in your life and why?’ Another feature involves adding a reply field to every tweet to make the reply process more overt. This will help the many new users who don’t realise that they can reply to tweets.
‘Starting a conversation or joining a conversation can be hard. I don’t always know what I want to say, but I want to say something,’ said Sara Haider, Twitter’s director of product management.
Twitter is also getting some inspiration from Facebook by testing the presence indicator. Users could choose to signal when they are on Twitter, indicating to other active users that they are open to a conversation. In turn, they can see who is active and make first contact. Users are more likely to reach out if they think they will get an immediate response.
The tests are not final or near a live roll-out. All Twitter is doing for now is sharing these tests with the public and seeking feedback.
We cannot say how much further Twitter will prompt. But one thing we can all agree on is that the platform is looking to enhance the user experience and facilitate better responses.
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